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Calgary Real Estate: Mixed Signals from April 2012

Posted by Jim Sparrow on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 at 10:03am.

Calgary Real Estate Market Sends Mixed Signals for April 2012 

Calgary Dream Homes Jim Sparrow MLS® sales for April 2012 gave mixed results for the metro Calgary real estate market. While the number of sales for both single family homes and condos was up dramatically vs. April last year, sale prices for Calgary houses stayed flat, with condo prices showing some improvement.

Inevitably there will be a lot of discussion about the increased number of sales this year compared with April 2011, so allow me to provide a bit of context (seeing the forest through the trees if you will):

Last April (2011) was the poorest April in the past 10 years for Calgary home & condo sales.

*see combined sales below; All sales numbers & prices are for homes located within metro Calgary*


Total Metro Calgary Sales: April 2012
  • 10 year average for total April Calgary sales (houses + condos combined): 2,254
  • April 2012 total Calgary sales: 2,209 (up 26.2% from last April)

Calgary Home Sales

Single family home sales in Calgary totalled 1,588, a whopping 30.6% increase over last April. Once again it's worth repeating that April 2011 sales volume was the lowest number recorded in the past 10 years. In the period 2003 through 2012, the number of Calgary homes sold in the month of April has averaged 1,602. The median sale price (SP) of a Calgary home was $421,000 last month, showing little change from the three of the four previous year's median prices ($420,000 in 2008 & 2011, $417,000 in 2010).
We've also provided average prices for both homes & condos, although we'd suggest you pay little attention to average price as it's heavily influenced by outliers (expensive homes) which make this metric less meaningful than it once was. In case you are interested in average sale price, the $483,165 recorded last month is the highest average April sale price ever recorded, besting the 2011 figure by 0.8%

SF Homes Sales in Metro Calgary April 2012
  • 10 year average for April Calgary home sales: 1,602
  • April 2012 Calgary home sales: 1,588 (up 30.6% from last April)
Sale Price of SF Calgary Homes April 2003-2012
  • April 2012 median Calgary home sale price: $421,000 (up 0.2% from last April)
  • April 2012 average Calgary home sale price: $483,165 (up 0.8% from last April)

Calgary Condo Sales

There were 621 Calgary condo sales recorded last month, a 16.3% increase over the April 2011 figure. The 10 year average (2003 through 2012) for April condo sales is 652. The median sale price for condos last month was $270,000, up $10,000 (3.8%) from April 2011. While the median sale price did improve, it's worth noting that the April 2012 figure is still $39,500 (14.6%) lower than the median condo sale price recorded in 2007, the year Calgary's condo market peaked.

As my colleague Mike Fotiou noted, Toronto condo buyers would be wise to take note of what happens when the music stops. Many Calgary condos purchased in 2007 and early 2008 are worth significantly less today than 4 or 5 years ago. Average Calgary condo sale price was $290,348 last month, virtually the same as 2010 ($289,585) and 2011 ($289,333)

Condo Sales in Calgary April 2003 thru 2012
  • 10 year average for April Calgary condo sales : 652
  • April 2012 Calgary condo sales: 621 (up 16.3% from last April)
April 2003 - 2012 Calgary Condo Sale Price
  • April 2012 median Calgary condo sale price: $270,000 (up 3.8% from last April)
  • April 2012 average Calgary condo sale price: $290,348 (up 0.4% from last April)

Calgary Luxury Home Sales

Calgary luxury home & condo sales totalled 48 properties last month (46 homes and 2 condos). Luxury homes are defined as any property with a selling price of $1,000,000 or more. For comparison, there were 39 Calgary luxury home sales in April 2011. Year-to-date, there have been 165 luxury property sales in 2012, vs 145 in the same period last year.

Of note was a Britannia home which sold for $6,000,000 after only 2 days on market, $1,000,100 over the list price. Todd Hirsch, senior economist with ATB Financial, put it this way: "... a lot of Calgarians are making incomes they've never seen before and I think a lot of that is driving the desire for for bigger homes, for luxury homes. They've got the income and the wealth now to do it. It's all part of the booming economy."

Other Canadian Markets

April sales results from two other major Canadian markets are now available. Greater Toronto (aka GTA) recorded another blistering month, with combined home + condo sales rising 18% vs April 2011 (total sales were 10,350). The average transaction price was a staggering 8.5% higher than a year ago (read full details on GTA here).

Vancouver recorded another month of sluggish sales, with sales in the city down 13.2% from April of last year. Sales in Vancouver were the lowest recorded for the month of April since 2001. At the same time, Vancouver sale price hasn't yet been affected by the slowdown in sales, with average price rising 3.7% from the same time last year. It would appear the bubble in Vancouver is close to bursting, as listing inventory is now on the rise (read the full story here).

If you're looking to sell or buy, do not hesitate to contact us.

We are prepared to work hard ensuring that your needs are met and that the result is more than you were hoping for. Nothing gives us more pleasure than your success and being with you through major life changes.

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